The EMCS Wolverine rugby boys took on SMUS again this past Thursday, but on an unfamiliar SMUS pitch. After a heartbreaking loss to the SMUS clan at home last week, EMCS had time to re-group and prepare. St. Mikes was first to score but did not make their conversion and went on to score again before the end of the first half. The Wolverines drove the ball into the SMUS in goal four times only to have it repeatedly called back for a five metre scrum. At the beginning of the second half it was SMUS 12 – EMCS 0.
The Wolverines put the pedal to the metal and dominated the second half. Finally, Nick Pfeifer made some shifty moves to put his team on the scoreboard. Harley Ring and James Lazzar both had impressive runs, which contributed to Conner Grey’s try developing out of a scrum on the SMUS 15. Conner made some impressive runs and stressed the SMUS defence all day. He also played a solid defence racking up many tackles. Tyler Oleskiew, playing eighth man, was equally as dangerous. He too had some impressive runs and shut down many SMUS try attempts in the second half. The hosts did get on the scoreboard in the second half with a three-point penalty kick from 25 metres out, however, that was the closest they were going to get to the Sooke goal line in the second.
With the scpre at SMUS 15 vs EMCS 12, SMUS was penalized. The team decided to go for the tie with a penalty kick from 22 metres out in the final play of the game. Unfortunately, the wind rebuffed this attempt catching the ball in a gust and bending it away from the goal. The Wolverines fell short by 3.
Over all it was the best effort the team has put forth. Last week SMUS scored 31 points against us. This game we held them to 15. We had one practice in between where we had an opportunity to go over our defence and make some adjustments. Dante Morandin and Troy Smith played an integral role in the defensive adjustment, having to give up carrying the ball in favour of patience on the outside. Though they wanted to get in there and help their teammates with tackles, they played smart, disciplined rugby. Had these two not stuck to the game plan, SMUS surely would have gutted our defence.
Man of the Match honours went to James Lazzar and Harley Ring for their impressive tackles, monster runs and control of the scrums, which contributed significantly to ball position throughout the game. Lots of credit to the SMUS group as well; an enjoyable team to watch and very well-coached.